Editor’s Memo, July 2012: What It Means to Be a Westchesterite



The other day, listening to the radio while driving home from work, I heard one talk-show host asking his listeners to tell his audience—by posting photos on the show’s Facebook page—what it means to be middle class. Hmm, that got me thinking: What if we at Westchester Magazine were to ask you, our readers, “What does it mean to be a Westchesterite?”

I thought about it for some time… Do we ask you to post on our site? Do we ask for emails and publish the best? Do we ask for essays? And then, I thought: Hey, why not start the inquiry right at home—that is, begin with our editorial and art staff? So, I did.

“Being a Westchesterite means you pay lots of taxes. But this tax money goes to good causes like top schools, Main Streets with distinct character, beautiful and clean parks, and the general acknowledgement­—among ourselves, anyway, that we’ve got more going on than Long Islanders, Upstaters, and New Jerseyans.”
—Managing Editor John Bruno Turiano

“Being a Westchesterite means that, for some reason, you feel compelled to buy those stickers for the back of your car that show how many kids and pets are in your family.”
—Articles Editor Marisa LaScala

“For me, it’s all about the great schools, being in a nice place to raise our son, having good neighbors, enjoying easy access to points north and south, and a having a short commute to the City.”
—Chief Copy Editor Carol Caffin

“It means living and breathing the Westchester air—including all the good and bad parts.”
—Deputy Creative Director Halina Sabath

“Families, education, space, fresh air. Lately, though, I have been feeling there’s a lot more to the county that I haven’t explored. I can drive almost two hours from the south end of the county to the north, and go from an area like the one where I live in an apartment on an urban block where maybe only one or two trees grow out of the concrete to horse farms and vineyards. And then there are the restaurants, museums, trails, neighborhoods, et cetera, with something new always coming along. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for how much there is to do and see here. And I’m not sure I’d know about it if I didn’t work here.”
—Associate Editor Ben Brody

“Being a Westchesterite means knocking the clichés of suburbia—gas-guzzling SUVs, boozy book clubs, ‘one-percenters’—and all while secretly being grateful for not having a sweaty subway commute, being able to entertain in the backyard, and avoiding all those annoying picketers.”
—Fact Checker/Reporter Katie O’Donnell

“While I like Urban Dictionary’s way of putting it—‘a far superior version of Long Island’—I’ll go a different route. I think being a Westchesterite is being a part of a long lineage of shapers, be they historical, literary, or musical. Being a Westchesterite means being able to make your name in any way you dream—and becoming one more name added to that long list of greats who have called Westchester home.”
—Freelance Fact Checker Scott Simone

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